The image today reminds me of the inscription “roots and wings” carved into a bracelet given to me by my parents before I left for a backpacking trip to Europe in my early twenties. The metaphor, “roots and wings” I have learned since, is quite popular. I had always cherished it as the wise words of my parents and, as a result, felt I “owned” the phrase that so cleverly symbolized the idea that I was granted both security at home and the freedom to explore the world. Roots and wings: so hippyish, so cool. I loved it. And still love it. I love to think about how wonderful it is to have a safe place to make mistakes. And, how freeing it is to be able to count on people to keep you grounded and supported when you experiment with words, actions, ideas, and dreams. Allowing people the freedom to experiment is one of the greatest gifts one can give…as a teacher, as a parent, as a colleague, and as a friend. We all make mistakes, all of us. How refreshing it is to be around people who welcome the mistakes and help you to recover and learn from them. How savvy!

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